14 patents in every fake bite of an impossible hamburger


This article was previously published on August 5, 2020 and has been updated with new information.

Fake meat is in vogue, and although alternative plant-based meats have been on the market for years, the industry is gaining momentum, promoting its meat-free ‘burgers’ as a viable solution for the world’s diet. The green image, however, is an illusion, based on a product that embodies the unnatural.

Impossible Foods, which hit the headlines because of its meatless burgers that “bleed” like real meat, is one of the leaders in the fake meat industry. His website suggests that vegetable meat is better for you and the planet,1 but eating an Impossible burger is not like eating a plate full of vegetables.

Far from it, Impossible Foods should be called “Impossible Patents”, according to Seth Itzkan, environmental futurist and co-founder and co-founder of Soil4Climate, who suggests that fake meat products destroy the environment by continuing to rely on genetically modified (GE) grains. soil loss and deterrence from regenerative agriculture.2

Impossible Foods holds 14 patents, has 100+ pending

Impossible Foods products do not resemble anything found in nature. As a result, the company holds 14 patents and at least 100 more are pending. “It’s not food; it’s software, intellectual property – 14 patents, in fact, in every bite of the Impossible Burger with more than 100 additional patents pending for proxy animals from chicken to fish,” Itzkan told Medium, adding:3

“It’s iFood, the next killer app. Just download your flavor. This is probably an attraction for Bill Gates, their über investor. It’s a food operating system (FOS), a precursor, perhaps, to a merger with Microsoft. MS-FOOD.

The business model is already etched in Silicon Valley – a licensed core of technology (protein synthesis) as it seeks vertical integration of supply chains, which in this case is not from coders to users, but from genetic engineers to protein seekers. “

Natural foods cannot be patented, but Impossible Foods products can certainly be. The impossible burger is an alternative to meat that differs from others on the market due to the addition of soy leghemoglobin or heme. That, the company says, makes meat taste like meat, and in plants, leghemoglobin is a protein that carries heme, a molecule that contains iron.

Originally, Impossible Foods collected leghemoglobin from the roots of soybean plants, but considered this method unsustainable. Instead, they turned to genetic engineering, which they use to insert DNA from soybean plants into yeast, creating a GE yeast with the soybean hemoglobin gene.4

Impossible Foods products are highly processed and created in production facilities – they are not grown or found in nature. Their creations of scientific projects are also highly protected, as evidenced by the 14 patents granted to Impossible Foods, discovered by Itzkan:5

Patent no. 10287568 – Methods for extraction and purification of undenatured proteins

Patent no. 10273492 – Expression constructs and methods of genetic engineering of methylotrophic yeast

Patent no. 10172380 – Replicas of minced meat

Patent no. 10172381 – Methods and compositions for consumables

Patent no. 10093913 – Methods for extraction and purification of undenatured proteins

Patent no. 10039306 – Methods and compositions for consumables

Patent no. 10087434 – Methods for extraction and purification of undenatured proteins

Patent no. 9943096 – Methods and compositions for influencing the taste and aroma profile of consumables

Patent no. 9938327 – Expression constructs and methods of genetic engineering of methylotrophic yeast

Patent no. 9833768 – Affinity reagents for protein purification

Patent no. 9826772 – Methods and compositions for influencing the taste and aroma profile of consumables

Patent no. 9808029 – Methods and compositions for influencing the taste and aroma profile of consumables

Patent no. 9737875 – Affinity reagents for protein purification

Patent no. 9700067 – Methods and compositions for influencing the taste and aroma profile of consumables

Patent no. 9011949 – Methods and compositions for consumables

Impossible food is unhealthy food

Although industrialized meat production that occurs in Concentrated Animal Nutrition Operations (CAFO) is responsible for most meat consumed in the U.S. is an environmental and ethical crime, creating fake meat in high-tech laboratory conditions is not the solution.

Impossible Foods just continues to consume ultra-processed foods, which Americans already eat too much. Americans not only eat most processed foods, but 57.9% of them are ultra processed6 – products at the far end of the “significantly altered” spectrum that are strongly associated with obesity,7 ill health and early death.8

Friends of the Earth (FOE), an environmental group, released a report that raised critical questions about the growing trend toward alternatives to animal products. In it, they highlighted the highly processed nature of these products:9

‘Various’ processing aids’ are used to produce some of these products, including organisms (such as genetically modified bacteria, yeast and algae) that produce proteins and chemicals for protein extraction.

For example, chemicals such as hexane are used to extract food components, such as proteins (from peas, soybeans, corn, etc.) or compounds (from genetically modified bacteria) to produce xanthan gum vanje detection of these ingredients is not necessary.

Other processing aids (e.g., bacteria, yeast, algae), including those that have been genetically modified to produce protein, also do not currently need to be detected on the packaging label. Lack of transparency makes it difficult to assess inputs and the impact of their use. “

Many of these foods, including the fake meat of Impossible Foods, are made from GMO soy, which is itself environmentally destructive, in part because it is often planted in places where essential grasslands and prairies once stood. This strain is heavily sprayed with the cancer-related herbicide glyphosate, which poses an additional risk to the environment and human health.

Not surprisingly, testing by consumer group Moms Across America found that Impossible Burger contains the ingredient Roundup glyphosate and its degradation product AMPA,10 at levels of 11.3 parts per billion – that’s 11 times more than the glyphosate found in Beyond Meat Burger,11 the company’s biggest counterfeit meat competitor.

‘No Place for Nature’ in Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods has even taken the goal of regenerative farming practices, which promote optimal nutrition and health, while at the same time helping to prevent pollution and restore damaged ecosystems. However, as Itzkan noted:12

“In this software scenario, there is no place for nature as food. Production of the Impossible Burger begins with soybean-dispersed glyphosate grown on a once-healthy prairie.

Finally, it ends its journey like a puck in plastic that some are brave enough to swallow. Just fry in canola oil and the illusion of a meal is complete. “

Impossible Foods also claims to have a better carbon footprint than live animal farms and has hired Quantis, a group of scientists and strategists who help their clients take action based on scientific evidence to prove their claim.

According to a summary published on the Impossible Foods website, their product reduced its environmental impact by between 87% and 96% in the categories studied, including global warming potential, land occupation and water consumption.13 This, however, compares fake meat to meat from CAFO, which is notoriously destructive to the environment.

“The claim that this march of the software industry that concentrates wealth in the food sector is in any way good for people or the environment is based on a comparison only to the worst aspects of livestock agriculture,” Itzkan said.14

Grass-fed farms are a truly regenerative solution

White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia, which produces high-quality grass-fed products using regenerative grazing practices, commissioned the same analysis from Quantis and published a 33-page study comparing White Oaks Pastures emissions with conventional beef production.15

While fake meat produced reduced its carbon footprint by up to 96% in some categories, White Oaks had net total emissions in negative numbers compared to meat produced at CAFO. Furthermore, White Oak Pastures grass-fed beef had a carbon footprint that was 111% smaller than a typical American CAFO, and its regenerative system efficiently trapped carbon from the soil, offsetting most of the emissions associated with beef production.16

“Within our margin of error,” the report said, “there is the potential to WOP [White Oak Pastures] beef production is climate positive. It would be very rare and unusual to have more benefits from producing something than just not producing. “17 but this is within the realm of possibility when it comes to beef fed with properly grown grass. The fake meat produced in the laboratory simply cannot be compared.

“It [the fake meat industry] completely ignores the fast-growing regenerative movement that offers so much hope for the planet at this crucial time, healing landscapes, restoring aquifers and mitigating fires, “says Itzkan.” So, because of its reliance on grains, tillage, pesticides and fertilizers, depleting the lawn and undermining a more legitimate solution. “18

Are there any health risks in fake meat?

The pursuit of a plant-based alternative to meat is not a consequence of health or even support for a vegan or vegetarian diet. Those who are genuinely interested in a plant-based diet can do so by eating plants, after all, and thus can enjoy the many health benefits that eating plant-based foods provides.

Numerous Impossible Foods patents reveal that their products are profit-driven, and perhaps the ultimate goal is to completely replace real meat with a highly lucrative patented product.

It is already known that consuming ultra-processed foods contributes to disease,19 but fake meat produced can also pose additional risks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for example, has expressed concern that soy hemoglobin in Impossible Burger is a possible human allergen.20

Scientists at Impossible Foods also fed rats leghemoglobin for 28 days to determine the risk of an allergic reaction or toxicity. Dana Perls, of Friends of the Earth, noted that the rats showed changes in blood chemistry “that could indicate kidney problems or other health problems,” which the company did not monitor.21

Senior Consumer Reports scientist Michael Hansen added that there are no long-term studies on soy leghemoglobin in humans, although the process of its production produces at least 45 other proteins as by-products, which are also consumed and need further evaluation.22

The fact is that fake meat cannot replace the complex mixture of nutrients found in grass-fed beef and other high-quality grazing meat, and it is likely that consuming ultra-processed meat could lead to many of the same health problems caused by processed foods. diet. To protect your health and the environment, skip the pseudo-food that requires patents and stick to those in nature.


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